Finding joy in starting over…

I just went for a run.  The first in a very very long time.  The list of reasons is unbelievably long.  Everything from traveling, to bad weather, to hating the “dreadmill” to the simple “I don’t wanna do it”

Of course, when I decided enough was enough and it was time to get out there again I caught a nasty respiratory infection that sapped my energy.  I could barely walk the dog let alone run.

I was smart enough to take care of myself as I watched some glorious perfect running days ( 70’s, no humidiy, light breeze) pass me by and I proceeded to beat myself up for NOT running all the times I had the chance to run when I wasn’t coughing up a lung.

So today was the day to start over.  I knew I would pretty much be starting from scratch.  I set my Garmin to run 3 minutes, walk 1 and decided to do a whole mile.

HOWEVER  I also gave myself permission to let go of what could have been, all those missed running days, and all the running stamina I used to possess.  And most importantly I let go of my ego and gave myself permission to do what felt good.

I made it 2 minutes and decided I needed to walk.  I enjoyed the beautiful day.  I walked 2 minutes and then decided to try the run 3  walk 1 again.  It was amazing.  When my watch signaled it was time to walk I was surprised.

I did my mile ( well .95 of it according to Miss Garmin)  Makes no matter.  I did it.  You can too! It doesn’t have to be running.  Do what makes you feel good, walking, zumba, yoga, or biking.

Let go of the past and what could have been. Let go of what others think is a the “best” exercise, an impressive amount of miles, or time, or the best yoga poses or the hills you “have” to do to be considered a cyclist.

I have lots of running medals and yet today I feel more victorious than ever because I listened to myself and I did it just for me!

Find the joy in whatever you choose to do. It makes all the difference!

The courage to start

Keep Triing,

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It’s Thoughtful Thursday..an easy way to make a difference


Take a minute and think about someone who made a difference in your life.

Chances are you just smiled.

You remember how happy it made you, how it changed you or how loved you felt that they took the time to do something for you.

Was it a huge thing like Oprah did when she gave away those cars?  Or was it something on a smaller scale?  It might have even been something they did without  realizing they made an amazing impact on your life.

While we would all like to have the ability to do really BIG things most of us can’t give away cars or houses or fancy vacations.

If you go back to the first question and remember what first popped into your thoughts it probably wasn’t something big.  It was probably something much smaller and doable and yet it was still HUGE to you.

This past Monday I had my day all planned and it was going to be so productive.  I got up early, I ran, I cleaned up and I sat down to work.  My computer had different ideas about my day.  I spent all day Monday, some of Tuesday and will spend a little bit of today getting this one issue,that could not be ignored,fixed on my computer.

Monday was NOT a good day.  Fortunately I did not also have to suffer through “crunchy coffee”.  If you missed out on that adventure go here.

So after some mind bending hours in front of this blasted machine I took the dog out since his little dance could not be ignored . I got the mail and my day turned around when I found these:

 

Letters for Thoughtful Thursday

 

Neither one of these friends could have possibly known what kind of day I would have when their note arrived.  I tore into them, read them several times and now they sit on my desk and make me smile.

They made a difference by taking a few minutes to write me a note.  It wasn’t a car or a house or a vacation but it might as well have been because that is how huge it felt to me on Monday.

Want to make a difference?  Make a list ( either written or in your noggin) about all the ways you can turn someones’ day around.  A smile, a note, holding the door open, a compliment, a post it note on the steering wheel or someones’ desk.  A lunchbox note for someone who might never expect it.

FYI we never grow too old for lunchbox notes.

Watch it come back to you in so many great ways including just making you smile when you think of the person finding the note, seeing your smile or savoring your compliment.

Now you know the drill.  Go out and make it a Thoughtful One!! 🙂

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Thoughtful Thursday…Finding Love and Support in Unexpected Places

You just never know where you will find love and support these days.  If you have just one person in your life that offers unconditional love, that you can share frustrations and know it will be understood and not shared and you feel supported then consider yourself lucky.

Most relationships come with more than a little baggage.  It’s that baggage that can trip us up, frustrate us and keep us from feeling free to share, vent and cry when we really need to do just let it all out.

And yet I have found more than one person.  Actually a whole group.  When I joined the group I would have never expected it to become what it is today.  The group was started really out of a need to find a safe place to vent about a direct sales company that slowly and painfully closed it doors leaving many people without their main source of income and their retirement now non existent.  The answers that were coming from corporate often made no sense and when questioned in their online group you were either banned or your post was deleted.

A group was created and we all congregated to  make sense of the nonsense.  That was close to two years ago.  While the original purpose of the group has faded a bit we have gotten to know each other even though many of us have never met in person.

The person who founded the group had a few rules we all abide by one being no bad language.  Finally a place where I don’t have see the f-bomb as every other word. I really can’t remember the other rules but whether stated as an “official” rule or not there is always respect for one another, we never discuss politics or religion and we are by far one of the funniest group of women that ever existed.

It has become a very safe place to vent but more importantly a place to find support and very kind words.

And that is why I am honoring this group on Thoughtful Thursday.  It really became evident when my best friend shared the loss of her father.  While not unexpected it happened rather quickly and caught her family by surprise.   She shared her pain with the group and the support and kind words from those who had also walked this painful path and others words of support and love were amazing.

As a writer I can tell when words are sincere ( really I can) and there were never any words more sincerely written to support my friend.

Social media often gets a bad rap ( and for good reason) but in this group we have the freedom to share, support, love and laugh.  It is one of those rare things you find in life that restores your faith in all that is good.  I for one am grateful for all the love and support from these sincere women.

Now you know the drill..go make it a Thoughtful one!

P.S.  My spell check wasn’t working so all typos are my gift to you  🙂

Clouds

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Dear Monday, I am breaking up with you!

I usually love Mondays.  A brand new week and a fresh start.  A chance to do even better than last week which for me would be something as simple, time consuming as finding the top of my desk.

Not this Monday, nope not in the least.  Really really wish I could go back to bed and have a do over.

Speaking of my bed that is where it all started at 4am ( damn time change) and it went downhill from there.  I should have known if things started going wrong before my feet even hit the floor that the best idea would have been to just stay put but NOOOOOO  I had to get the ball rolling by actually getting up.

So here goes:

  • I wake up at 4m..a little too early ( the plan was 5am) grab some water and back to bed
  • what seemed like 2 minutes later it is 6:30am  Ok no biggie since I work for home ( not as glamorous as it sounds)
  • notice I have something in my eye that is really irritating
  • am blinded in the bathroom by the uber bright light bulbs Paul thought we absolutely needed and my eye waters even more
  • give up looking in my eye, head for coffee, eye is killing me
  • make coffee or so I thought, seated the filter wrong and I find myself straining my coffee so its less crunchy
  • eye is killing me, back to the bathroom..nothing but my finger in it
  • hot compresses and 2 hours later I find a teeny tiny piece of black something in it
  • only have almond milk for my crunchy coffee and discover it tastes like &^(*%$
  • have my intelligence insulted by Good Morning America ( my next blog post )

At this point I am 2 hours behind, my eye is still watering and I have a coffee headache, I need to get photos printed up for a project that HAS to go in the mail today and my computer got hungry and seems to have eaten them overnight.

Oh and our taxes are ready as in Uncle Sam wants more of our money.

If you need me I will be in bed blowing bubbles with my crunchy coffee watching ABC for more blog material..as in see next blog post.

 

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Happy Monday! NOT!!

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Living Single while Very Married: Hellos and Goodbyes

One of themes throughout our relationship has been the many hellos and goodbyes !  I can best sum them up with this thought I posted on facebook when saying goodbye yet again:

The hellos get sweeter and the goodbyes get harder…

   Our first true goodbye after we were engaged  is still as fresh as when it happened on July 5, 1978 .  We knew it would be several months before we saw each other again.  I remember the date not because I have such a great memory but because when I went back inside the house after seeing Paul off I found this written in my “Nothing Book”.  What he wrote was really something!photo (20)

.…”goodbyes, however temporary are often painful…the months ahead will be rough but nothing in this world comes easy, especially the items we treasure most….

And so began a series of Hellos and Good-byes…Navy Deployments etc.  Most hellos were fabulous..the goodbyes not so much.  Out of it we learned to treasure our time together, trust decisions that needed to be made and made the most of what communication methods we had at the time which mostly consisted of the good old fashioned letter.

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There was one deployment where the only way to communicate besides letters and the rare phone call was over some sort of radio frequency that came over the phone.  I remember how strange it was to say “I love you” “Over” but I hung on to it.  Plus Paul sounded just like Mickey Mouse.  When he finally called on an actual phone about 2 months later and I heard his real voice I cried.

And with goodbyes come some really sweet hellos.  I am fortunate to have a photo of one of the sweetest hellos we ever had.   February, 1984, Barbers Point, Hawaii  Our oldest was almost three, I was very pregnant with our second as in about 10 days away from having her.  The photo says it all:

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That is a little of our story of hellos and goodbyes.  I would like to say we were well prepared for our present adventure but there have been adventures inside the adventure.  Most have been pretty funny ( so thankful for that) others not so much but holy cow have we learned a lot.

I’ll end with some wisdom from Winnie the Pooh.  For a bear he sure has a way with words!  pooh goodbye quote

Be on the look out for my next post as we start this new adventure with the quintessential ROAD TRIP!! Woohoo!

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The Bike Trainer almost won…. The gadgets are taking over

It was one of THOSE days last Tuesday.

The New Year brought us new gadgets and inspiration to get the old gadgets up to speed.  So we found someone who actually knew what he was doing in the audio/video field to fix what many others had mucked up, and get the new stuff set up correctly.

And along with all that came a new learning curve for us  me.  I now know enough to write things down and try them out before I let the electronics wizard out the door.

And while I didn’t do any of the setting up I was answering lots of questions,  testing things out and running up and down stairs.  Considering what happened later with the bike trainer I  should have considered THAT my work out.

The next hurdle  in the elctronics adventure will be to get Paul on board since everything now operates differently.  Normally I would not think this would be a problem but since he claims Amazon is not user friendly ( WHAT??) I have some concerns.

So this evening with about 95% of my brain used up on new electronics I decided to go for my first indoor bike trainer ride since last year.

And  I couldn’t JUST go ride the bike ..NOOO I had to go get my Garmin watch to track my miles and speed.

From there it went like this:

  • Remember that I needed to put in replacement parts  on my bike so my Garmin birth control would sync with my bike
  • Find replacement parts
  • Find iPad so I could follow you tube video on how to do it
  • First video has no sound, find second video
  • Go get flashlight that actually works
  • Go get scissors
  • Go find glasses
  • Watch video, rewind, go get towel to clean off spot on bike to  replace sensor that I lost
  • Fool around and ruin 2 out of the 3 zip ties that came with replacement kit
  • Finally get it working
  • Lose glasses
  • Find glasses
  • Get water
  • Change clothes
  • Go get shoes
  • Fiddle with TV so I have something to watch
  • Get on bike, need glasses
  • Get off bike, get glasses ..fool with Garmin Watch
  • Get on bike, get off bike to find TV control
  • Get on bike..room is too hot
  • Get off bike turn on fans
  • Get on bike and actually start cycling and realize I didn’t cut off zip ties and they are rubbing bike frame
  • Off bike,find scissors,  cut zip ties, adjust bike on trainer
  • Ride bike for 10 minutes and realize I never started watch which if you recall STARTED this whole fiasco
  • Start watch and cycle for 3 miles

At one point I was about to throw in the towel and just give up but I perservered.  And now I need to find my second wind because I can’t find the paper that I wrote down the instructions on how to turn the TV off.  Its either going to be a long night or a noisy one.image

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Living Single While Very Married….these photos say it all…part 1

So when I wrote my last post  Who are these people? I was trying to find photos to include from the very first time we met. Finally found them and they are  obviously pre-digital era.  I was amused to find that  our baby photos and the ones from the first night we met are pretty much the same. Paul has always hated getting his photo taken..so obvious.

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As for me, I was obviously not so shy.  Although nowadays I tend to look for good lighting and a little out of focus is fine !

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And fast forward to the night we met…Paul still not so crazy about having his photo taken. Of course it didn’t help that one of my college friends caught him off guard.

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And me…quite the opposite and not much different from my baby photo!

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Ironically (even those these photos don’t show it) Paul is way more photogenic than I am. Proof that opposites attract!

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It’s Thoughtful Thursday! Feeling a little stressed as Christmas approaches? Join me for….

A little cup of self compassion and letting go.   At the risk of getting horse whipped by Elf on the Shelf and shamed by Pinterest addicts I will share with you that Christmas is not my favorite holiday.

Pause for a collective GASP!

I mentioned this to a few of my friends and was dutifully shamed since evidently I am suppose to LOVE everything about the holiday and put up my decorations mid November.

I think not.

I don’t LOVE everything.

What I do love is the spiritual side, advent and getting together with family, and pulling out the faded construction paper ornaments with macaroni and toothless grins from long ago.

I love the music…in December and not before.

What I don’t love are the little voices in my head that constantly barrage me this time of year:

  • Did I remember everything and everyone?
  • Wait where did I put this gift…did I even buy it or did I just think I bought it?
  • It’s Dec. 10th and my tree is not up..what’s up with that? ( It is actually up with a trillion boxes surrounding it full of ornaments yet to be hung)
  • The sale ends tonight, must hurry, must bake, must do everything

and the quintessential:

 “What’s wrong with me, everyone else seems to do this without breaking a sweat”

I actually know the last one is not true, it just feels true.  Especially when I hear things like this starting on Nov. 29th:

“My shopping is all done, cards are ready to be mailed and I just baked 15 dozen cookies”

And me….I am thinking ( among other things that can’t be written here):

“Wait, I haven’t even finished digesting my Thanksgiving dinner and you are all ready for Christmas?”

And then to console myself I have another piece of pie.

So what does all this have to do with Thoughtful Thursday?

Aside from starting a support group for those of us who would like to celebrate Thanksgiving and then ease into Christmas then the  best we can do is really, really practice self compassion and let go of what does not serve us.

Take a breath, have a cup of tea, keep it simple and do what brings you joy.  Elf on the Shelf might need to take a vacation this year..or permanently.

If you have small children think about what you remember about Christmas.  I bet you hardly remember the gifts but you do remember your Grandpa’s laugh, fun with your family or making cookies with your Mom ( just not 15 dozen and slice and bake work just fine)

As for me, I am putting a mute button on all those nagging questions that run through my head, making a cup a tea and hoping I don’t trip over all those boxes around the undecorated tree as I go to the kitchen.

Make this Thoughtful Thursday about you today!

P.S. Written quickly so all my typos and grammatical errors are my gifts to you!  Phew..

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Living Single While Very Married…. Who are these people?

Before I get into our story I thought a little info about who we are might be in order.

My name is Jennifer. I was named Jennifer long before it was the most popular name on earth..well it used to be.  I would like to believe my parents were ahead of their time, a little edgy and cool.

Truth is they found my name in a dictionary. So much for edgy and cool.

As an afterthought they said I was named after my Aunt Jenny who I never met and don’t know much about.  What I do know is that I am not nor have I ever been a Jenny. Perfectly nice name but it is not mine. I have been Jennifer most of my life, Jenn to some and even J-RO ( a parody on J-LO that stuck) but never Jenny.

This is the story of how my husband and I fell into a marriage sabbatical.

We never intended for it to happen, it just did and we learned quite a bit along the way. Will try to leave out the boring stuff. Won’t leave out the hard stuff and sorry but I have to include the mushy stuff because that is part of the story.

Most of all it is a story of love, gratitude, appreciation, frustration, depression and celebration. It is story of a small part of our life.

 Our story.

Everyone has a story…believe me everyone has a story. Just strike up a conversation and you will hear some incredible stuff.

Paul is the other half of this dynamic duo.

If you had him write about himself it would consist of

“Hi, I’m Paul “

How did Miss Social, Miss run at the mouth get married to a man of few words? Who knows but it works for us. Took me years of dragging him to large  social events to learn that he really prefers smaller gatherings. Once he gets to know the group he is fine but I  literally dragged him to neighborhood events. Now he can’t wait to go. And I might add he is very popular. Go figure

As for names, his parents like mine, were not really edgy or cool in choosing his name. He is a Junior.  Named after his father. If the “junior” part of this story remains after editing it will be a coup for me because he never uses it and really doesn’t care for it.

Ironically our son in law goes by Junior as his first provigil name…it fits him. It does not fit Paul.

A few other things you should know. Paul leans towards being type A (organized, gets things done in a timely fashion, detail oriented).

I am not sure what type I am but it for sure is not type A. I am the type that leaves every door (car door, cabinet door or front door) open (self closing doors would be good for me), I have  unique organization system ( I sometimes don’t understand it) I have raised procrastination to an art and I love adventures…big and small. I don’t think there is a “type” label for me. I’m fine with that…not really into labels.

Before I met Paul I was a little concerned about the kind of guys I was attracting.

The ones I wanted to date had no interest in me and the ones who wanted to date me were not even close to what I found attractive. The top of that list being a sense of humor and at least as tall as me. I admit that is a little shallow but I am only 5″ 5″ so I wasn’t really asking for much. It seemed all the short humorless guys were beating a path to my doorway.

I really wondered if this was what was in store for me for the rest of my life.

I was all of 20 years old.

I later learned, long after we married that Paul often wondered if there was anyone out there that would love him just for him. This puzzled me since I have always thought he was really handsome, tall (6’2″), funny, and intelligent…I mean really…what’s not to love?

Honestly when we got married I wondered if someone was going to break out in that song from the movie “Funny Girl” when Barbra Streisand marries Omar Sharif:

“To tell the truth it hurt my pride, the groom was prettier than the bride…”

Which just proves that we are all vulnerable in the love category.

After 7 short months of dating we got engaged. He graduated from the Naval Academy and went to flight school and I went back to college to finish my last year.

That was our first clue that time apart would become a big part of our relationship. We just didn’t know how big. Stay tuned.

me and paul

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It’s Thoughtful Thursday! Time to slow down

I am writng this quickly for reasons that will soon be obvious.  For the same reasons this will be relatively short.

I didn’t sleep well Tuesday night.  I found out a dear friend who I would have expected to be the last person in my world to have a heart attack, had one.  I believe she is going to be fine.  I don’t have all the info because it just happened and I really do want to talk to her just to hear her sweet voice.

I was surprised because this really shook me to the core.  It came out of nowhere and I tossed and turned all night worrying about her, worrying about everyone, wondering and fretting how scared she must have been.

If she didn’t live across the country from me I would have been at her doorstep dropping off chicken soup.

Needless to say I was exhausted this morning and getting ready to have my almost three year old grandson for a couple of days.  Sort of dreading it since I was sooo tired.

He was just what I needed.   He is a gentle soul and was very happy to go grocery shopping with me.   A quick lunch and then we cuddled in my bed for his/our nap.

I woke up and watched him sleep thinking I should get up and tackle a few things before he got up but my list of urgent things didn’t seem so urgent anymore.  Instead I enjoyed a cup a tea and right now I am waiting for him to wake up.

Tristun reminded me of the poem:

 “So quiet down cobwebs ; dust go to sleep; I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep”

Tristun may not want to be rocked but  he won’t be this age for very long  and I needed a day just to be  and he is giving it to me.

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So this Thoughtful Thursday take some time to slow down and just be…cherish the moment.  I hear little feet hitting the floor so I am off for more Tristun time.  Make it a Thoughtful one!

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